Technology has played a big role in promoting interaction among different people. In some sense, it has turned the whole universe into a global village. These increased interactions have made the world more diverse than ever.
Consequently, the business sector recognizes the need to create an environment that accommodates people from all walks of life. For example in the procurement sub-sector, creating a supplier diversity program for businesses that are willing to provide equal opportunities to everybody.
What is supplier diversity?
Also known as inclusive procurement, supplier diversity can be described as a deliberate effort undertaken by procurement officials to ensure that potential suppliers are given a fair and equal chance to compete for business opportunities within specified supply chains.
This may include small and medium enterprises, micro, local vendors, social enterprises, and business largely on and controlled by minority groups such as immigrants, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, women, people with disabilities among others.
Diversity and inclusion go beyond the workplace. It is not only about vendor diversity or creating supply diverse programs. Successful businesses understand that creating a more diverse environment has the potential of unlocking innovation and agility.
Procurement contributes a lot when it comes to diversity. This is because it is one area that offers immense opportunities for individuals and businesses from different backgrounds to thrive.
That is why it is important for those in authority to ensure that proper guidelines and policies are formulated to promote equality.
Importance of supply diversity in today’s world
There are many benefits that come with creating a strong supply diversity program. Some of them include the following:
Companies will connect with customers
Customers are constantly becoming aware of corporate social responsibility and the role that companies need to play. Most of them do not just focus on buying and selling products, they want to align their values with their spending habits.
In other words, many customers are more likely to associate themselves with a specific brand because of their role in CSR.
Diversity leads to innovation
Different people solve problems differently. Form a task force of five people and you will get 10 different opinions. The approach and style that people use in proposing solutions usually depend on their background, identity, and experience.
Research shows that there is a positive interaction between increased levels of diversity. The more a team is diverse, the more innovative it is likely to be.
When suppliers compete, it is the buyer who wins. Competition generally drives high the quality of products and services.
Greater brand awareness
Suppliers are always motivated to help their clients succeed. The more a company succeeds, the more it will rely on its suppliers to expand and save on costs. It is upon the company to foster good relations with suppliers and this can be realized through vendor diversity.
What are the commercial advantages?
There are many commercial advantages of diversity for a business. Some of them include the following:
- It drives innovation: When a business promotes diversity in its supply chain, it creates a robust environment for innovation
- Promotes the image of a company or business: Customers are always keen to see what companies and businesses are doing to support the community.
- Improves competition: Diversity also promotes healthy competition. This has the benefit of improving the quality of products and services
- Builds long-lasting relations between customers and the company: Suppliers help a company to attract customers and build strong relations with them.
How to create a successful diversity program
If your business is focused on creating value through diversification, then implementing the best industry practices is necessary.
- Start by educating your management team, procurement, and the entire organization on the importance of a diversity program in supplies.
- Develop strategies and foster relationships with local vendors. Encourage and support each one of them to participate in your supply chain
- Partner with other companies and businesses that are keen on supply diversity programs. This includes attending seminars, conferences, round-tables, and other information-sharing platforms
- Identify and mark suppliers by connecting with different resources such as NMSDC, NGLCC, and WBENC.
- Take advantage of social media to connect with potential customers, diverse suppliers, and diverse organizations
- Acquaint yourself with different supply diversity programs.